New York College of Health Professions held its 21st commencement ceremony Sunday at the Melville Marriott hotel.

Number of graduates

212: 165 associate degrees, 32 bachelor’s degrees, 15 bachelor’s/master’s joint degrees

Commencement speaker

Fashion designer Tina Tandon spoke about her childhood in North Carolina and India, studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, and launching her T.Tandon clothing line, which caught the eye of actress Brooke Shields and other celebrities. “It’s not always about where you come from and who you are. It’s about knowing what you want to do and going after it with a very focused intention. . . . Things will magically happen in your favor. You just have to want it bad,” Tandon said, adding that she is helping to develop the college’s Acupressure clothing line.

Student speakers

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Peter Scherer, 47, of Long Beach, who earned an associate degree in massage therapy, said, “How public health succeeds or does not is now a part of our personal crossroads. . . . It’s within our hands, reaching into our own communities, to touch the lives of others who must cope and who need our touch on their path to wellness.”

Eric Hsu, 30, of New Hyde Park, graduated with a bachelor of professional studies/master of science degree in Oriental medicine: “My friends here showed me that one person alone can’t save the world. But together, we can heal the world one needle at a time.”

Student reactions

Kimberly Holmes-Cardona, 28, Manhattan, massage therapy

“I want to work with families, to try to help them through pregnancy, which can be a very scary process,” said Holmes-Cardona.

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Marc Greenstein, 35, Rocky Point, acupuncture

“There is a need for a more natural way to heal, to deliver that option instead of people being forced to go to a medical doctor for medication,” said Greenstein, who with his wife operates a massage therapy practice.

Anna Kwiatkoski, 24, Minola, massage therapy

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“I find it fascinating that, through touch, I can help someone,” said Kwiatkoski.

Andrew Chung Choi, 31, Little Neck, Queens, massage therapy

“I want to work with Moy Yee San Jong, the martial arts school that I attend in Brooklyn, to help people when they get injured,” said Choi.